Sep 28, 2012 9:00am PDT
gingrich doesn't go quite that far, but he says that romney needs to reform his thinking. >> i think they're only now beginning to come to grips with the general election. they had a very -- >> scary -- >> they had a very successful primary strategy. in a primary you can raise enough money to build a motor boat and drive to where you want to get to in the primary. in the general election you're like a sail boat. the system is so much bigger than you. >> it is hard to go from a motor boat to a sail boat, known who is familiar with yachting knows that. ben smith, i want to go right to you and talk about sort of the problem facing this campaign. first, when is the last time that governor mitt romney gave a speech or did an event or otherwise made some sort of policy news that had an impact on voters and on this race? >> i mean i don't know. it's been a while. that is one of the things about these campaigns. not that romney has lost it all in one moment through a fatal gaffe although there have been bad moments but every day he's losing it day by day each day in a new and creative method and
Sep 29, 2012 12:00pm PDT
, it was newt gingrich offering some advice to romney's messaging strategy, telling him how to disarm president obama. we've heard from peggy noonan a couple of times now. how is the campaign reacting to all of this inside chatter? or are they? >> this is a constant irritation for the campaign. they feel like every donor, every republican who lost in a primary, and frankly, every reporter, thinks they know how to run a better campaign than they do. they wish that they could do our -- or they say they wish they could do our jobs too to give us an idea of the difference. they try to brush these things off. the campaign has its own staffers who help manage, especially the conservative media, reach out to try to keep things like that happy. but they undercut their conservative message when you say things like romney did to ron allen in ohio, they continue to undercut their ability to turn the page with conservative commentators. >> i always like getting your perspective on this next question, because you spend more time with governor romney than just about anything, with the exception of folks that
Sep 30, 2012 9:00am PDT
castellanos. i want to set up how you feel about the debates with a quick sound from newt gingrich and how he views the importance of these debates. >> it has to be campaign of contrast, not attack. >> right. >> part of the contrast has to be disarming the president. because if the president is believable -- this is where clinton was so good. if the president is believable at the end of the first debate, there's a very high likelihood is he going to get re-elected. >> whoa. not just the debate, but the first debate. do you agree? >> sure. i think the first debate is critical because this is their first chance -- our first chance to see the two gladiators in their arena alone, so how they -- who is the alpha dog in this debate? that's what we want to see. if you can't beat the other guy, how can you lead the country? >> you think mitt romney could lose it in this first debate, do you agree? >> i think that the debates are really tough for the incumbent. i think there's a big study done by the -- no, they show the challengers win the debates because it's the first time -- >> john mccain -- >> t
Sep 30, 2012 7:00am PDT
the debates and the official closing arguments. i find myself agreeing, but narrowly, with newt gingrich here. let's embrace the essence of the lincoln douglas senate debates of 1858, the democratic spirit of two candidates facing off with 90 minutes, no moderator, freely open to the populous to decide who wins the war of ideas. aren't the presidential dae baits when we test the mettle of each side's convictions and the substance of their policy. this has become an ideologically driven election. no longer referendum on foreign wars or economic failings, this is a choice of doctrine and of direction. so perhaps that's why i don't mind sharing a little political science secret with you. although the debates routinely draw large viewing audiences, evidence shows that voters do learn a little bit of information from them, but political scientists also tend to agree that debates don't actually make a difference in the outcome. sorry. it's at least statistically true. most often, you can accurately predict where a race will end up after the debates by knowing where things stood before the debates.